Dog Shedding: A Guide

Dog Hair Shedding: Why, How and Treatments

Dog shedding is a natural process through which dogs get rid of their old dead hair. How much hair a dog sheds is dependent on the breed of the dog, whether they stay indoors or outdoors and what their health is like. Dogs shed throughout the year but some breeds may be prone to shedding more during certain seasons. Normal year long shedding is not visible on the dog’s coat but will be visible all over your things.

Dog Hair Fall: Signs To Watch Out For

  • The dog’s coat has patches with no fur on them.
  • Shedding is only in certain parts of the body and not uniformly.
  • Your dog’s hair has thinned to such an extent that you can see the skin.
  • Skin problems are present together with hair fall.
  • The dog’s scratching too much.
  • If your dog doesn’t like being touched on those bald patches

then it’s probably best to pay a visit to the vet.

Some reasons for this could be:

  • Allergies – environmental, fleas or food. It could be as simple as a shampoo that hasn’t been rinsed off properly.
  • Poor Nutrition – not having a well balanced diet
  • Hormones – thyroid problems
  • Skin Infections – bacterial, yeast or fungal
  • Parasites – like mange or scabies because of mites
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy

For a more detailed look at symptoms and reasons do check out this article on excessive shedding by petMD

Dog Breeds That Shed A Lot!

A photograph of a Siberian husky in front of mountains by the lake.
Siberian Husky. A Dog Breed That Sheds! Photo courtesy: Liudmila Luchkina on Unsplash

Here is a list of dog breeds that shed the most.

Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed At All!

A photograph of a Shih Tzu looking at camera with tongue out.
Shih Tzu. A Dog Breed That Sheds Little! Photo courtesy: Edson Torres on Unsplash

Here’s a list of dog breeds that shed the least

Dog Shedding Season and Dogs with Double Coats

Photograph of a Chow Chow a breed that has a double coat and is prone to dog shedding more.
A Chow Chow. A Dog Breed With A Double Coat. Photo courtesy: Gabrielle Costa on Unsplash

Certain breeds of dogs such as Huskies, German Shephards, Chow Chows, Labradors etc have a double-layered coat. They have two coats – the undercoat which is dense with short hair and helps with insulation and a topcoat which has longer hair called ‘guard hair’ that helps to repel water and dirt. The undercoat underneath the topcoat creates pockets of air which helps protect the dog from both heat and cold. These dogs shed their undercoats twice a year during Spring and Autumn and the topcoat once a year. When both the layers are shed together it is called ‘blowing their coat’. This annual shedding ritual can last anywhere between three to eight weeks.

Dog breeds with double coats should never have their fur cut or shaved. What works better for them is a Deshedding treatment.

What is Deshedding?

A dog with its fur combed out where individual strands can be seen looks at camera.
Photo courtesy: Josch13 from Pixabay

Deshedding is a dog grooming treatment that removes dead and loose hair from a dog’s undercoat. This helps prevent matts/tangles/knots as well as keeps the dog’s coat light and comfortable.

DIY Deshedding

A dog is seen playing with a hose pipe and is all wet with water spraying from the hose.
Photo courtesy: sevenpixx from Pixabay

Brush once a day for at least 15 minutes
Remove all matts/knots/tangles
Bathe your dog more regularly during the high shedding seasons.

Here’s an article that gives you a comprehensive look on brushing, various brushes available on the market and which brush would suit your breed the best.

There are deshedding tools that allow you to do the deshedding at home itself.  Do look at this article that looks specifically at the best deshedding tools.

Dog Deshedding Grooming Service

If you find it difficult to deal with the deshedding yourself you could opt to go to your local pet groomer for a complete deshedding treatment for your dog.

At Pawpad the deshedding dog grooming service includes:

Cleansing with specialized clay mixed with essential oils
Deep Cleansing with shampoo and conditioner
Eye/Ear cleaning
Nail clipping
Application of leave in conditioner
Application of snout butter and paw butter

To lighter summer coats!!

Please Note: The information in this article is for informational purposes only and not meant to be read as a substitute for medical advice.